The architectural plan is an index of architectural values—of how buildings configure people in relation to each other. Historically, the plan was the means through which architects deployed principles of proportion, composition, uniformity, montage, and figuration. It expresses the underlying ethics and ideologies of the architecture; evidences the background environment of building technologies, rules, regulations, conventions, and customs; and traces the power relations that buildings enact. The recent return of the plan as a topic of discourse and focus of architectural energy suggests renewed interest in the correlation of form and politics that the plan describes. This course sketches the history of plan making in the west during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from Beaux Arts composition to modern “non-composition,” before focusing on the scattershot discourse about the plan today. Rather than positing a single grand thesis about the contemporary plan, the course foregrounds the countless threads of plan making evident today and asks students to identify the underlying ideas, histories, and implications of specific plans.

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Fall 2022
The Plan
Brennan Buck